When Lightning Strikes in the Mountains | Survival Guide

One estimate is that 24,000 people are killed by lightning strikes around the world each year and about 240,000 are injured. In fact, lightning strikes are more common in mountains than in low lands. That makes them the most dangerous weapon against mountain climbers because they’re also more likely to hit lone objects on high ground.

Fortunately, we know a lot about this natural phenomenon – which is why there are some things you can do to stay safe.

Thunder and Lightning in History

These have played an important role in every society. Some worshipped this phenomena – adoring their rattling sounds and flaming light while still fearing them. It’s why thunder and lightning appear in almost every one of the world’s mythologies.

Unfortunately, worshiping the god of lightning did not make him any less dangerous to his believers. And we’re no better off, today – especially mountain climbers. Fortunately, being forewarned can really translate into being forearmed!

Why Is Lightning So Dangerous?

LightningLightning is an electrical discharge that occurs between clouds or between clouds and the earth. Most often, such discharges hit the nearest, and therefore, the highest places on the ground. And that’s why mountain peaks become favorite targets.

According to scientists, some 1500 lightning flashes happen around the Earth – continuously sparking millions of strikes simultaneously. This means that those who adore watching such a fantastic display of light and sound are at a higher risk of getting hit because of their need to get out and experience it firsthand.

Lightning can discharge up to 1 million volts at a speed of up to 150 meters per second. These numbers are incredibly staggering, making them extremely dangerous – especially when they hit something or someone.

Lightning Myths

Although lightning tends to hit the highest protrusions and peaks, it sometimes cheats – meaning that it doesn’t always do so. Electrical charges go for the nearest object on the ground – including someone in the middle of a forest or field.

And it isn’t true that lightning never strikes the same place twice. It can and often does – and is why you need to take all possible precautions during a storm.

How to Avoid Lightning Strikes When Hiking

Most martial artists speak of three preventive measures to avoid trouble: “Foresee. Avoid. Act.” Put another way – be sensitive to potential danger, try to steer clear of it, but if you can’t, then adapt.

Although you cannot prevent lightning strikes, you can reduce the likelihood of being hit by one – but only if you have an action plan and some back up ideas. Deferring to the wisdom and experience of martial artists, this article hopes to save as many mountain lovers as possible.

Weather Forecast

Weather ForecastImportant rule of thumb – ALWAYS check the weather forecast before you go hiking. If you know that there is a strong possibility of bad weather – postpone your trip. You can always hike another day – but only if you stay alive. Remember: safety must be your number one priority!

How to Predict a Thunderstorm?

If your mobile phone is beyond the coverage area, use your senses.

Thunderstorms never come out of the blue. They always give out tell-tale signs of their approach – including a stuffiness and the absence of any wind for many hours beforehand, followed by haze and poor visibility. If you notice these signs, expect a thunderstorm.

The Earlier, The Better

Thunderstorms, rain, and snow usually happen in the afternoon – at least in the northern hemisphere. Meaning that the best time to climb the most dangerous mountain ridges is in the early morning.

Hear the thunder? Keep your distance. Calculating the distance between yourself and that advancing storm is easy. Since light travels faster than sound, you’ll always see lightning before you hear the thunder. Once you see the lightning, count the seconds till you hear the thunder, then divide that figure by three to come up with the distance in kilometers. If the storm is at least 30 kilometers away, get to shelter at once.

Action Plan for an Approaching Thunderstorm

Don’t wait for the lightning to start hitting stuff a couple of hundred meters away from you. Though impressively beautiful, you won’t appreciate it much if you become a target. Here are some things you can do.

  • In an Open Space

Hiking in the open lets you see a thunderstorm in the distance, which is great. Unfortunately, it’s also more dangerous because there’s less shelter out in the open. Solution?

1. Leave the open space

If you are in a summit or on top of a mountain ridge, leave as quickly as you can.

2. Switch off all electrical devices

Such attracts even more electrical activity. To be doubly safe, remove the batteries.

3. Find a safe and dry place

A thunderstorm usually ends in an hour or so – enough time to get seriously soaked. Try to find a rock cornice, cave, or even a tent in a dry area.

4. Be careful with caves

Though caves can keep you dry, they come with their own dangers – especially since moss and lichen can transmit electrical current. In case the lightning god strikes your cave, stay at least a meter away from the walls and three meters away from the ceiling.

5. Use a high rock or tree as a lightning rod

A rock or a tree, kept at a distance of at least 10 meters away from you, is sufficient to draw the lighting away from you or your group.

6. Isolate from the ground

That said, rocks aren’t always the best option – especially if you’re surrounded by them. Your best bet is to stay at least a meter away from one during a lightning storm. Remember: the gap mustn’t be more than the height of the cliff.

7. Assume a safe posture

Whether you’re in out in the open or in a sheltered place, assume the following position for your safety: (1) squat, (2) lower your head and wrap your arms around your legs, (3) keep your feet together to protect yourself from the zippered step. For additional safety, keep a tourist rug (folded several times) or a dry rope under your feet.

8. Avoid Walking

If in an open area, stop walking, as that puts you at a higher risk of getting hit. If do you have to walk, don’t do so continuously – stop occasionally.

  • In the Forest

Thunderstorms in the forest are trickier as they can be harder to detect and you’re surrounded by more potential targets. If you’re with a group, do a quick headcount – especially if lightning strikes near you. Do not wait for a reply if one of your group is some distance from you – get to them ASAP. They might need immediate help.

Pick your trees carefully

lightning magnetsDon’t pitch your tent near oaks since they’re virtual lightning magnets. Maple and birch, on the other hand, are the safest trees against lightning.

Avoid lone trees!

They’re also lightning magnets. Some hikers try to shelter under lone trees – a big mistake you must avoid.

Avoid water

Water is a lousy electrical conductor. So if lightning hits it, the electrical current will zip across the surface in all directions. If you’re in the water, it’ll definitely zap you, and if you’re near the water, you stand a good chance of getting electrocuted. So stay away from lakes, springs, and even puddles. Therefore:

  • Keep your skin and hair as dry as possible
  • If in a ravine, pay attention to the direction of the storm water run-off, and stay as far away from it as possible.

4 . Be careful with metal equipment

Experienced hikers keep all metal away from their shelter. This includes trekking sticks, ice axes, metal tableware, etc. You can even turn them into a lightning rod if you can stack them up higher than your shelter or on a slope higher than where you’re staying. A safe distance is about 50 meters away.

5. Put out campfires (if any)

A pillar of smoke is an ionized gas that can transmit electricity – making it another no-no in the presence of the lightning god.

Latent Danger of Lightning

Lightning strikes are bad enough, but even if you avoid a direct hit, that doesn’t mean you’re out of danger. Electromagnetic induction can still hurt you if electricity strikes at a distance of one meter or less – meaning that if lightning strikes close enough, the current can still pass through your body.

The result is a slight crackle followed by glowing blue sparks and a tingling at the tips of your nose, ears, and fingers. If you aren’t wearing a cap, your hair may become electrified – causing it to stand and crackle. You may not get hurt, but you should take it as a final warning and get off the mountain ASAP.

Lightning First Aid

  • Light Strikes

First AidThough direct lightning strikes wreak havoc on the body, they are not fatal – at least in most cases. Nevertheless, if you are hit, you need urgent medical help.

Symptoms of a light lightning strike include:

  • Fainting
  • Nervous shock
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Burns

Action Plan – How to help the victim in three steps:

  1. Warm them up with blankets,
  2. Give them complete peace,
  3. Give them painkillers and soothing drugs.
  • Hard Strikes

fatal accidentHard strikes are way more dangerous, and therefore, potentially fatal. If someone’s been hit by a hard strike, assess their condition and take immediate action.

Symptoms include:

  • Fainting
  • Shock
  • Deafness
  • Depression of cardiac activity.

Action Plan How to help the victim in three steps:

  1. Call an ambulance or emergency helicopter.
  2. Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  3. Apply medicines that stimulate cardiac contractions and respiration

If there are several victims, help them according to the urgency of their need. The one who can’t breathe is the obvious priority, but try to help them all at the same time if possible.

Do your best to maintain a calm and confident manner. If necessary, carry their stuff as you go down.

Hopefully, this information will save your life and those of others when hiking. Tell your hike-mates about these action plans, just in case. If possible, simulate an emergency before your hike so everyone knows what to do.

Take care and never underestimate the danger!

What To Know Before Climbing 5000+ Meters Mountains?

5000+ metersBelieve it or not, your body behaves differently at 5000+ meters – which is why you need to know what happens to it before climbing those high mountains far above the clouds. So let’s talk about the symptoms of altitude sickness and how to prevent it so you can conquer the world’s peaks.

Why is Altitude Sickness Dangerous at 5000+ meters?

Mountain sicknessMountain sickness – also called altitude sickness – is caused by oxygen deficiency. You might start feeling symptoms at 2000 meters, but once over the 5000+ meters mark, almost everyone does.

It can manifest suddenly, especially when you exceed your body’s limits. And when that happens – hello oxygen starvation.

It often happens gradually, however. The first sign is general fatigue – regardless of how much you’ve pushed yourself or not, the distance you’ve covered, and steepness of the slope. Muscle weakness, drowsiness, malaise, and even dizziness follow shortly after.

Those who stay at the same altitude or who try to go higher will feel worse – becoming “victims of the mountains.” Symptoms include poor digestion, frequent nausea, and even vomiting. In worst cases, breathing rhythm breaks down, together with chills and fever.

So don’t push yourself to the limit because recovery takes a while.

  • The First Stage of Altitude Sickness

The very first stages require no special treatment, in most cases, because symptoms usually disappear after enough rest – a sign of acclimatization..

  • The Second Stage of Altitude Sickness

Altitude SicknessWithout enough rest and other factors, it progresses to the second stage – chronic. Chronic symptoms are similar to those in the first stage, but are much stronger and include:

  • Acute headaches,
  • Pronounced drowsiness,
  • Engorged blood vessels in the hands,
  • Possible nosebleeds,
  • Breathing difficulties ,
  • Expansion of the chest, sometimes becoming barrel-shaped,
  • Increased irritability,
  • Loss of consciousness.

These are serious problems requiring urgent medical care. It also means you need to get back down to lower altitudes – ASAP.

Warning! The above symptoms are often preceded by excitation or euphoria similar to being drunk.

Why Does Altitude Sickness Happen?

Altitude SicknessSimply put – because of a lack of oxygen in the blood. If prolonged, it affects many of the body’s organs, systems, and functions.

Among the most important of these is the nervous system. An early sign that it’s in trouble is hypoxia – when too little oxygen reaches the tissues. The result is excitation and a feeling of self-satisfaction. Those with hypoxia become cheerful and talkative, while losing control over their bodies and showing poor judgment.

The cheerfulness and talkativeness don’t last, however. What follows is depression — expressed by sullenness, grumbling, combativeness, and even sudden attacks of violence. Such people suffer from restless sleep plagued by weird dreams and bad feelings.

Hypoxia at 5000+ Meters

At high altitudes, hypoxia severely affects the the higher nervous centers. This results in a lack of physical sensitivity, impaired mental judgment, loss of self-control, diminished interest in things, a lack of initiative, and in the worst cases, some memory loss.

The most noticeable symptoms include:

  • Slower reaction times with decreased accuracy in physical movements,
  • Poor sense of coordination,
  • Mental and physical depression resulting in mental dullness, illogical thinking, slower movements, and poor reflexes.

Despite these, those affected are convinced that nothing’s changed. So they continue as before – or try to. This can lead to dangerous consequences, such as developing:

  • An obsession with going on with the climb,
  • A conviction that they are absolutely correct in everything, and
  • An intolerance of criticism.

A group leader who exhibits such symptoms becomes dangerous because they are responsible for others’ lives. It’s therefore imperative that those being led recognize the signs so they can respond appropriately for their own safety and well-being.

Hypoxia’s Sequence of Symptoms

Altitude SicknessThe ten most common sequence of events signaling the onset of hypoxia include:

  1. Taking great effort with various tasks,
  2. Increasing criticism of other hiking-mates,
  3. Unwillingness to think things through,
  4. Increasing irritability of the senses,
  5. Resentment.
  6. Responding to criticism with irritation,
  7. Difficulty in maintaining mental focus,
  8. Slow thinking,
  9. Constant repetition of words and phrases,
  10. Problems with memory.

Severe heat loss can also result because of the lower temperatures at higher altitudes. Those who succumb become even sicker – hence the need to keep them warm. 

Dealing with Altitude Sickness

In order to mitigate the effects of altitude sickness, it’s important to consider several factors, including your body, the pace of your climb, and the environment. If you understand these, you can strategize accordingly.

Personal factors

Weak organization

Environmental factors

  • Age,
  • Sex,
  • Physical condition,
  • Level of physical fitness,
  • Mental fitness,
  • Previous altitude experience;
  • Previous diseases (if any),
  • Personal ability to resist oxygen starvation.
  • Malnutrition,
  • Inadequate rest,
  • Poor acclimatization, Excessive climbing speed.
  • Degree of elevation,
  • Steepness of slope,
  • Climate zone,
  • Humidity,
  • Amount of solar radiation,
  • Low temperatures,
  • Strong winds,
  • Degree of atmospheric electrification,
  • Degree of oxygen starvation.

Since environmental factors change due to weather conditions, terrain, distance from water, and climate zone, altitude sickness can strike at different heights. In the Caucasus, for example, symptoms may strike at altitudes of as low as 3000-3500 meters. In the Altai, Fan Mountains, and Pamir-Alai Mountain Range, it can happen higher up at 3700-4000 meters. In the Tien Shan Mountains, people notice it at 3800-4200 meters, while mountaineers making their way up the Pamir start reporting symptoms at 4500-5000 meters.

Though altitude sickness affects everyone, it does so at different levels. Some feel the first signs at relatively low altitudes – 2100-2400 meters, while others only start feeling it at around 4200-4500 meters. Once past the 5000-meter mark, however, almost every mountain climber experiences it.

Acclimatization: Why It’s Important

Prolonged stays at high altitudes force many changes upon the body. To prevent or minimize serious damage, acclimatization is therefore necessary.

Acclimatization is how the body and mind adapts to an environment different from what they’re used to and have become comfortable with. In the particular case – to a much higher altitude.

To do that, you need to spend some time at an altitude that’s much higher than your campsite. Doing so forces your body to adapt to less oxygen, and prepares your mind for the journey to come.

Once there, your body goes, “A-hah! So this is what less oxygen feels like. I’d better adapt.” By the time you get back down to camp, your body already knows what it has to do when next you make your way back up.

  • How to Effectively Acclimate Yourself:
  1. Sleep at a low altitude at night, but climb higher in the day.

This lets you to know the passes at the start of your route and forces your body to begin adapting to less oxygen. The important thing is to only descend in the evening.

  1. 2. Do not climb more than 1000 meters a day and never sleep higher than 500 meters than you did the previous night.
  2. 3. Absolutely no alcohol as it aggravates hypoxia.

CampingYour body needs rest to get rid of hypoxia, and it can’t do that with a “good cognac” because alcohol prolongs hypoxia. You can reward yourself with a glass of wine once you’ve come back down from the mountain.

While your body adapts to less oxygen, you may experience the following:

  • To ensure that enough oxygen gets to your central nervous system, it will reduce the amount to other, less critical organs – making them sluggish;
  • Since your respiratory system is the most sensitive to oxygen deficiency, your breathing will become deeper.

Once you’ve completely acclimatized to 5500 meters, all of your bodily functions (breathing, digestion, heart beat, blood pressure, and others) will return to normal and run as they do while at low altitudes. The same cannot be said at higher altitudes of over 6000 meters.

At such heights, your heart beat, breathing, and cardiovascular system simply cannot return to normal because your body will always be under constant pressure. The solution is to simply get used to having a pulse rate of about 100 beats per minute – even during sleep.

  • The most important rules when hiking at 5000+ meters:
  1. Always consider your health.

Your health, safety, and well-being must take precedence over your pride. Never mind what others think of you because your life is more important than bragging rights. So if you have to rest, or quit and make your way back down – do so.

      2. Take responsibility for yourself.

If the team leader doesn’t care about your health and won’t listen to your concerns, then leave the group and make your way back down. Alone, if need be.

  1. 3. Pay attention to other team members.

If you’re not having problems, but others are, do the right thing and listen to them. Note their symptoms, measure their pulse rate, keep calm, and take appropriate steps.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

Prevention is better than treatment because it can stop the problem in its tracks before it gets worse. The best ways to do so include:

  1. Ensuring correct acclimatization,
  2. Alternating descents and ascents while monitoring everyone’s health,
  3. Athletes have to include anaerobic training – such as running uphill and running with a delay in breathing,
  4. Taking multivitamins and antioxidants (tinctures of ginseng, golden root, rhodiola rosea, ascorbic acid, riboxin) when climbing 5000+ meters,
  5. Not taking medicines that affect the pulse rate – such as potassium or orotate. These can cause irregular heartbeats,
  6. Always bring a first-aid kit with you!
  7. Taking pills that normalize the water-salt balance, such as rehydration pellets. A little salted water will do.
  8. If any member feels bad during a climb, they must go down or be evacuated by emergency aircraft.

Helping with Altitude Sickness

Despite their best efforts, there will always be those who’ll fall prey to altitude sickness. The best solution is to act fast to prevent it from getting worse.

First, get them back down to a lower altitude. If they can’t walk, call emergency services right away.

If you can’t reach medical help, for some reason, you need to increase their oxygen intake.This can be done with water or diuretics. If they have problems with a build-up of pressure, use a condition-intramuscular injection. An alternative is to give them one to two aspirin pills to reduce blood clotting and supply more oxygen to their tissues.

To climb 5000+ meters, you need to prepare accordingly. This involves having the right quality equipment, ensuring correct acclimatization, and doing a carefully planned ascent. Those who suffer from altitude sickness require immediate medical care to reduce hypoxia and prevent severe complications. Where medical care isn’t possible, an immediate descent should address most symptoms.

Thorough preparation for your next mountain trip is key. Hike safely and happily!

9 Important Things To Know When Planning Your First Hiking Trip

first hiking trip

first hiking tripDoing something for the first time in life broads horizons of the thinking and ruin stereotypes, and first hiking is not an exception. Every mountaineer remembers that excitement and intriguing feelings before the very first outdoor adventure.

However, many people quit their first hiking even before it starts. In this article, we decided to figure out reasons why some people put off their first hiking trip year after year. And to prevent the tendency of postponement, we prepared an actionable guide to plan your first hiking trip mindfully.

What Can Prevent Your First Hiking?

Unfortunately, many brilliant ideas and wishes do not turn into actions. When it comes to hiking, people can find so many reasons to put off climbing mountains of their dreams:

  • “I’m too busy now (this month, this year, etc.)!”
  • “Sorry, I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive for me now!”
  • “I have to take care of my relatives instead of fooling around!”

These are only three of many possible excuses, which make so many people forget their dreams of hiking mountains. Sure, everybody can have important stuff, lack of money and beloved relatives who are sick, but don’t allow the mock business ruin your hiking plans and the enjoyment of your life!

We have met so many homebodies who told they were not prepared enough for their first hiking. In their minds, every hiker has to be similar to Bear Grylls who dares to venture his life to survive in the wild nature.

It’s true that survival skills are essential when hiking but not all of them are compulsory when hiking for the first time. Also, you can learn a lot in practice. So, you should not be lazy and too severe to start hiking.  

If you opened this article in search of confidence and essential information before the hike, you had done the right thing. Let’s make a plan for your first mountain adventure to avoid undesirable emergencies and enjoy like never before.

1. Plan the Route

Route PlanningPlanning the first hiking route is extremely important. Why is it so? On the one hand, if the trail is too flat, you might be bored very soon. On the other hand, steep routes can scare you. Both options lead to misunderstanding of hiking and might cause reluctance to go hiking in the future.

That’s why you have to map out the route carefully. Look for hiking trails that correspond to your level of sports training. When you are not sure about some obstacles on the way, it is better to contact experienced mountaineers for advice.

Travel Tip: do not plan the most ambitious hikes from the very beginning. Start slowly, and put off climbing Everest for some of your further hiking trips.

Think about every small detail of your hiking. How many available days do you have for the hiking? What distance are you able to pass daily? Necessarily include time for relaxing and food intake into your daily schedule.

It is also important to consider some time reserve and backup plans if something goes wrong.

Just in case do not forget to notify your family and friends about your location. The more they know, the less they worry about your safety.

2. Don’t Go Hiking Alone

Hiking with Friends

Hiking with a company is safe and fun. No wonder, many world known companies consider outdoor trips as a perfect team building activities. Consider to book a tour in a decent travel company or at least invite your bosom friends to join.

Although you may be impressed and inspired by fearless solo-climbers, it is not recommended to go on the very first trip in the mountains all alone. Hike in a team with skilled mountain climbers if you have this chance. It will bring you an incredible experience and improve your own hiking skills.

When hiking in a group, pay attention to everything and try to learn as much as you can. With this knowledge, you will be capable of organizing your next hiking trip independently.

3. Check the Weather Forecast

Weather ForecastWhen planning hiking, keep the seasonal availability and weather conditions in mind. Many easy trekking paths for beginners turn to be extreme or even prohibited to climb in the low season. Checking the availability as well as the weather forecast before hiking can prevent plenty of undesirable consequences.

No matter how brave and trained you are almost nothing depends on your will and skills in case of a natural disaster, such as an avalanche, thunderstorm or rockfall.

Try to find information about emergency cases on the trail to decrease the possibility of misfortune.

Be prepared for the severe weather conditions. Always include a rain cover to your packing list, make reliable insurance and save emergency numbers to the nearest rescue center just in case.

Increase your awareness to decrease the possibility of an emergency!

4. Pack Your Backpack Mindfully

Think over every item you are going to put into your backpack. Keep in mind that you will carry that all on your shoulders throughout the hiking trip. In case if you rucksack is too heavy or its size is not suitable for your dimensions, your belongings will turn into a burden. If you do not intend to hate your hiking trip from the very beginning, do packing mindfully. Learn more here on how to pack your backpack.

  • Special equipment

First, get-to-know the full list of the mountain gear necessary for your trip. For example, if you decide to save on the sunglasses, probably it will turn to vision problems on a glacier.

  • Mountain clothes

Don’t take cumbersome and warm coats when preparing for hiking. Always remember the principle of an onion – take different layers of your mountain clothes. The mountain weather changes very often so that you will change your layers pretty often too.

The number of the layers should depend on the particular climate conditions of the hiking area. Though hiking in the summer is the best for the first time because the weather is pretty quiet and does not require you to take a lot of warm clothes with you.

  • Hiking Boots

Pay particular attention when choosing your boots for hiking. They have to correspond to your terrains you are going to pass.

Sneakers are perfect for a light weekend-long hiking in the forest, while stiff boots are great for rocky landscapes.

When you are going to experience rain or snow during the hiking trip, your boot should be waterproof and have a hard sole.

If your hiking boots are new, you should wear them before the trip to walk around the city or in the forest. Your feet should be used to the shoes. Otherwise, it leads to calluses during hiking.

  • Packing principles

Whatever clothes you decide to put in your backpack, all of them have to be lightweight and practical. Leave your evening dress at home even if it convenient enough and you like it a lot.

Travel Tip: pack your backpack several days in advance to be sure everything can fit into one bag. Even better to test all your equipment during a weekend hike in the suburbs of your city. So, you will know whether you need to change something in your packing stuff or everything is fine.

5. Choose the Way of Cooking

When hiking your body requires a lot of energy and vitamins. Thus, a backpack full of snacks is not the best choice of nutrition. You have to cook to eat well.  

There are several ways to cook food when hiking:

  • Fireplaces

Evenings with long conversations at campfires turn active hiking into a memorable and enjoyable outdoor event. A fireplace is made not only for cooking food but also for the sake of coziness, warmth, and enjoyment. However, fires are not allowed in national parks as well as on most popular hiking trails. Abundant fireplaces eventually lead to the extinction of many wild plants and animals. Thus, you should ask for the permission first, if you decide to organize campfires on your way.

  • Gas Cooking Stove

This stove is the most convenient when hiking. It allows to heat the water in a short time, and it is lightweight.

  • Petrol Cooking Stove

Hiking enthusiasts usually take petrol or multi-fuel stoves when they fly to the other countries or continents. It is reasonable because it is not allowed to transport gas on the plane. However, you have to pack your petrol balloon very tight. Otherwise, all your stuff will smell the same as petrol.  

  • A Stove in a Guesthouse

Apparently, it is the most comfortable option for those who decide not to go very far from civilization. If you stay in a guest house, probably, you will order your dinner there, but it is not obligatory. If the guest house has a kitchen, usually hikers are allowed to cook there.

6. Include Nutritious Food

Nutritious Food

Food is one of the most critical components when hiking. Every food product has to be nutritious, lightweight and delicious at the same time. Moreover, it has to include enough fat and protein.

Experienced hikers recommend to include these food products into your mountain diet:

  • grains
  • meet
  • fish
  • nuts
  • sweets

As for vegetables, you have to dry them before the hiking trip. Then it takes more time to cook the dry vegetables but you can preserve them for many days, and they lose the most of their weight while drying

7. Consider Water Springs

Water is everything when you are hiking or doing any other sports activities. Think hard where to take water on your route because it is impossible to carry it for several days. Moreover, you have to refill your water bottle regularly to be sure it is fresh and suitable for drinking.

Remember this as a rule: never drink water if you are not sure whether it is safe or not. There are so many illnesses with severe consequences caused by drinking dirty water from unknown sources.

If you don’t have any information about the water spring, and there is no other opportunity to find water all around, you have to boil what you could see. Most bacterias are killed while boiling, so it will be relatively good.

Take specific tablets for water disinfection when hiking. They can kill dangerous bacterias, but they don’t reduce sediment, which can also be in the water.

Calculate a minimum necessary amount of water for your hiking group. Bear in mind that you will need at least 3 liters of water per person only for drinking and at least half a liter per person for cooking.

8. Learn How to Fix Everything

Remember: when hiking, you are face to face with nature. It means you have to find a way to fix everything off one’s own bat.

Do not forget to include strong threads and needles to your packing stuff for fixing your clothes. You have to know how to fix everything you take with you – from your hiking shoes to your cooking stove and specialized mountain equipment.

Furthermore, you have to know how to fix people’s health in case of an emergency. Always take a first-aid kit with you and learn how to apply for each medicine beforehand. 

9. Workout Regularly

Hiking requires good physical shape, as well as it helps to pump up your muscles. To hike efficiently, you need to do sports activities regularly before the trip.

The best sports to prepare for a hiking trip are running, rock climbing, athletics, fitness, and cycling. However, any sports activity is right for your physical shape and allows you to hike with ease. So, sports help you to keep your muscles toned and overcome all possible obstacles easily.

Now you know how to plan your first hiking trip mindfully even if you have never done it before. You should understand that the more details you consider before hiking, the more fantastic trip you will make. Think hard your route, nutrition and packing stuff, do sports and be optimistic! Mountains are benevolent for those outdoor enthusiasts who do preparation seriously!

 

How To Pack Your Backpack For a Hiking trip?

how to pack your backpack

how to pack your backpackA well-packed backpack can contain surprisingly many items of mountain gear. On the contrary, wrong way of packaging causes excessive load on the backbone and shoulders. It leads to fast fatigue and inability to find the relevant stuff inside the bag. That’s why the skill of packing your backpack effectively is vital for every mountain lover.Continue reading

How to Protect Your Skin & Eyes From the Sun In The Mountains?

Skin and Eye Protection. Excessive UV-radiation caused by sunshine is an invisible enemy for our skin and eyes. Since many mountain climbers neglect wearing sunglasses and applying sunscreen, it can lead to skin burns and snow blindness. To avoid these and the other more essential health problems caused by the UV-radiation, you have to follow a couple of basic principles described in the article. Continue reading

Top 10 Recipes For Your Nutritious Hiking Breakfast

Nutritious Hiking Breakfast

Going on a hiking trip doesn’t mean you can only eat instant noodles, canned, or semi-cooked food – unless you like that stuff, of course. If you’re not okay with that, then great news – you can still enjoy your favorite dishes and more on a hike. How? With these 10 recipes for a nutritious hiking breakfast.

Live coals, grills, portable stoves, and even paper bags. The following are ten delicious, but simple recipes, for a nutritious breakfast outdoors. They should give you an idea of how to prepare your own dishes for outdoor living and even expand your cooking repertoire. You’re truly only limited by your imagination.

  • 1. Pancakes with Spring Water

Almost everyone loves pancakes. If you’re not one of them, then perhaps this’ll make a convert out of you because it’s made with a twist.

Nutritious Hiking BreakfastSince carrying eggs in a backpack through the mountains isn’t a good idea, this recipe doesn’t include them. Egg-free, water-based pancakes are just as good as the egg-free versions – especially

with jam or condensed milk. And if you’re watching those calories, don’t add sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml of water (can be spring water)
  • 300 gr of wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 70 ml of vegetable oil (sunflower is good)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • hot coals

How to Cook

Stage 1

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt, then add a half liter of water into mixture. Do it very carefully to prevent the flour from sticking together and forming lumps.

Add the baking powder and 50 ml of vegetable oil, mixing it all together till the batter has an even consistency.

Stage 2

Heat some sunflower oil on a frying pan, making sure to stoke the coals. Once the dough’s ready, pour the batter in. Keep a careful eye on them as the batter burns easily if left alone.

  • 2. Casserole with Sausages

Because this uses eggs and milk, none of which lasts unrefrigerated, it’s only good for a weekend trip or during the first breakfast of your hike. To save time and backpack space, and spare yourself the hassle of carrying breakable eggs, make the dough at home and take it with you. Meat lovers will absolutely adore this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 0.5 glass of wheat flour
  • 0.5 glass of corn flour
  • Baking powder
  • 0.5 glass of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter to taste
  • Salt and sugar to taste

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Mix the wheat flour, corn flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder before adding the milk, eggs, and butter.

Stage 2

Heat the oil and fry the sausages in a frying pan.

Stage 3

Remove the sausages and pour in the casserole mix. Once it turns a golden-brown, add the roasted sausages on top. Bon appetite!

Nutritious Hiking Breakfast3. Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a typical breakfast dish for many, so why do without it simply because you’re outdoors? As with the previous recipe, prepare everything at home.

Ingredients:

  • oatmeal – 60 gram per person;
  • dried fruit: raisins, dried apricots, prunes, dates to taste;
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar or condensed milk.

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Mix the dry oatmeal with chopped nuts and dried fruits. If you want to mix everything at home, take this dry mixture with you in an airtight container.

Stage 2

To eat, simply mix the oat porridge with water and boil it in a cooking pot for 2-5 minutes, and voila! Sweeten to taste, or add chopped fresh fruit like apples or apricots.

4. Blueberry Pie

A pie makes an incredibly surprising breakfast meal when hiking – especially if it includes fresh berries from the forest… truly an unforgettable experience. You’ll be even more surprised at just how easy and quick this recipe is. Don’t hesitate to add this fantastic recipe to your mountain meal menu when you have access to forest berries.

Ingredients:

  • spring water
  • wheat flour
  • sunflower oil
  • blueberries from the forest
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • soda (or baking powder)

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Make a cooking bowl with a plastic bag. Add water into the bag and slowly stir in the dough.

Stage 2

Lubricate the frying pan with oil and pour the dough on it. Add as many blueberries (or any other berries) as you want. Add another layer of dough on top.

Stage 3

Move this mixture into another cooking pan that can be sealed. Put it on the fire for about 10 minutes – constantly checking to make sure the pie doesn’t burn. Once the cake is ready, remove the lid and share your sweet breakfast with your hiking fellows.

5. Black Bean Soup

Although soup is not a typical breakfast for most, it’s ideal for hikes because it provides the proteins and vitamins you need for energy. It’s also delicious and makes an appetizing reward after an exhausting day in the mountains.

Ingredients:

  • 1 canned chicken
  • 2 bean cans
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • 2 large onions
  • half of an average sized cabbage
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 tomatoes
  • spices to taste

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Roast a slice of bacon on a well-heated campfire to eliminate its fat and flavor.

Stage 2

Remove the pork from the fire. Cut one onion and fry it to a light golden color. Add garlic and spices then fry for another minute. Cut two tomatoes and half a cabbage into small pieces.

Stage 3

Fill the roast with some water then add vegetables and chicken. Cook for 15 minutes.

Stage 4

Add the beans and keep cooking for another 10-15 minutes before adding salt and spices, if needed.

Congratulations! Your soup is ready!

6. Sausage-egg Hamburgers

If you’re a fast-food fan, then you’ll certainly appreciate this recipe. A crunchy hamburger with fat sausage and nutritious eggs can turn your mountain breakfast into a super yummy meal.

Ingredients:

  • sausages
  • flour
  • milk powder
  • baking powder
  • sugar
  • salt
  • oil

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, milk powder, sugar, and oil in a bowl before your hiking trip. Put the mixture into a food container and take it with you on a hike.

Stage 2

In the morning, lubricate the baking shapes with oil, add the grated cheese to the mixture, and spread the dough into shape. Add about 50 grams of water to each then roast the buns.

Stage 3

Fry eggs together with sliced or chopped sausage on the pan for biscuits.

When all the ingredients are ready, combine them into a big and tasty hamburger.

Start your morning with the main dish of your alpine “McDonald’s” and the rest of the day will be amazing. Have a great day!

7. Baked Potatoes and Corn

Bake potatoes and corn on fire if you want to have a simple but nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of potatoes
  • 5-7 corn on the cob
  • bacon
  • salt and spices

How to Cook:

Potatoes must be cleaned, rinsed, and cut “accordion” – several times on one side. The resulting holes are biting bacon. Wrap potatoes, salt, and pepper in a foil and send to the hot coals. Add corn afterwards. After 30-40 minutes dinner is ready. Bon Appetit!

8. Blueberry-Orange Muffins

Sweet breakfast with fruit and berries is right for your body and mood. These muffins reenergize and cheer you up in the morning, so learn to cook the most positive breakfast in your life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange per muffin
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • milk powder
  • sugar
  • salt
  • foil

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Create a mixture of flour, baking powder, salt, milk powder, sugar, and oil in a bowl. Place it in a food container and take this mixture with you to the mountains.

Stage 2

Cut the oranges in half and spoon out their flesh. Put the muffin dough inside, cover the orange with the second half of the peel, and wrap in three layers of foil.

Stage 3

Bake the muffins on fire, periodically turning them over every 10 minutes. When the ball in the foil becomes hard, remove the cupcakes from the fire.

That’s the taste of your morning!

9. Kissel made of fresh berries

A beverage made of fresh fruit or berries is a perfect start to every mountaineer’s frosty morning. Kissel is a nutritious, healthy, and easy-to-cook beverage that’s great in the mountains – especially since its flavor improves the higher up you go.

Ingredients:

  • 0.8 kg of berries
  • 0.3 kg of sugar
  • 120 gram of potatoes
  • 1 gram of citric acid
  • 2 liters of water

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Rise the berries in cold water, put them in a bowl, and carefully knead them with a wooden spoon or stick.

Stage 2

Squeeze the juice and put the remaining mass in a pot. Pour in hot water, boil for 5-6 minutes then filter the fruit mass through a gauze.

Stage 3

Add sugar then boil it again

Dilute the decoction with the boiling liquid, taking care to stir continuously till it almost boils.

Drink with pleasure!

10. The King’s Omelette

You’ll definitely appreciate this dish and will want to have it every morning. That said, it’s not easy to cook outdoors, so it’s best to have it once you get back down and can get yourself some eggs and butter – all you need for a nutritious breakfast in an alpine valley.

The following proportions are enough for 5-10 people, so adjust the amount depending on how hungry you are!

Ingredients:

  • 10 chicken eggs
  • 1 pack of butter
  • 1 small bundle of green parsley (optional)
  • salt to taste

How to Cook:

Stage 1

Heat a pan over coals then dump the whole pack of the butter in. Be sure the fire isn’t too hot, lest

the butter catches fire.

Stage 2

Once about half dissolves, spread it evenly over the surface of the pan to grease it. Remove from the fire, add the eggs, some salt to the eggs to taste, and return the frying pan back to the coals.

Scramble the mixture by stirring slightly for about 5 minutes. The most important thing is not to overcook the omelet – it should be soft but crunchy.

Stage 3

Remove your delicacy from the fire and sprinkle with dill.

Your breakfast is ready. Enjoy your meal!

***

As you can see, making your own breakfast in the mountains is not rocket science. All you need is an original recipe, cooking equipment, and a little bit of creativity. Be ready for food experiments and make every morning in the mountains unforgettable!

 

How to Pee and Poop in the Mountains?

pee and poop in the mountains

pee and poop in the mountainsThe relevance of the “natural toilets” issue is growing together with the number of hikers and alpinists in the mountains. In recent years it turned into a real problem solving which solution is vital for major climbing routes worldwide. According to numerous queries in search engines, the increasing number of mountaineers are seeking for the science of a simple action – how to pee and poop in the mountains.

The Toilet Culture

The culture of going to the toilet depends on the nationality. In many countries, it is considered indecent to discuss the topic how pee and poop, even so, everyone outdoor enthusiast should know that.

In childhood, we learn how to pee and poop from our parents before pronouncing the first word, as this uncomplicated skill is transmitted from the ancestors. Nevertheless going to toilet outdoor is different. Keeping this in mind, we tourists can prevent the undesirable effect.

  • The ethic problems

Esthetic is the least impact that excrement may cause in the mountains. Pee and poop spots along hiking paths and climbing routes make these areas unattractive to the public. In the process of time hikers prefer to select another trail, which is pleasant for eyes and smelling nice.

The ethic and aesthetic problem is especially critical for Everest. Mountain climbers who are about to step on the top of the world have to face the “minefield” on the way to the summit.

According to the National Geographic research, there are about 12 tons of excrements gather in the Everest Base Camp annually. Even though there are special barrels on the way to the very top, many alpinists still ignore them deciding to pee and poop in the mountains anywhere.

Although this problem has been widely spread in the media, it isn’t completely resolved so far. However, now the most prospective scientists of the planet work on the plant, which could utilize “the mountain of poop” without bad influence on nature.

  • pee and poop in the mountains

    Constant contamination

No wonder tons of humans’ excrements contaminate breathtaking mountain landscape and turn the areas into habitats of flies as well as the other annoying insects. The territories with disgusting smell become unusable regarding tourism, agriculture or grazing. It is obvious to every intelligent person that extensive urine and poop in improper areas cause a tangible impact on land and surroundings.

Nevertheless, many people are not educated enough in this field. Some of them behave like animals because they do not want to take responsibility. But eventually, their regular actions lead to global problems, which cause terrible pollution of the environment.

Just imagine: more than a half of popular climbing routes in the USA are horribly contaminated by poop. Even though there are enough public toilets to dispense on most climbing routes, this problem still concerns the most developed countries in the world.

  • Personal hygiene

Everybody cares about the personal hygiene, but not everybody is ready to adhere an ecological way of life for the sake of personal hygiene. When pee and poop are seeps into the natural water resources, it leads to ecological disaster and affects personal hygiene as a result. If hikers want to be responsible for their personal hygiene, they have to care about the environment as well.

The problem of contamination has the same root most countries. Basically, it is just not common to raise this topic in the society so that nobody explains how to pee and poop in the mountains to both kids and adults. Unconditioned rules are not clear to outdoor enthusiasts, especially if they do hiking for the first time. As we all understand, it causes a lot of unpleasant consequences.

Therefore, in order to solve the problems of growing contaminations along the mountain routes we need to know and obey the simple rules how to pee and poop in the mountains mindfully.

Rules of Sustainable Development

If nature allows us to observe its beauty, we have to respect and preserve that. Luckily, in contrast to pervasive pollution, the science of sustainable development has been developing quickly in recent times.

The growing number of tourists understand their trace and want to maintain natural resources we have nowadays. Responsible hiking is about sustainable development. Let’s figure out what we can do regarding going to the toilet in the mountains and keep them pure.

  1. Learn about the ecological situation of your route beforehand

Read important information about the hiking or climbing route you are going to visit in advance. It will allow you to avoid many undesirable consequences, such as dangerous places, unexpected weather conditions, and accidental contamination. Pay attention if there any public toilets along the trail.

If you are going to hike in the national park, it must be forbidden to pee and poop everywhere. In case if you are unsure where you can use toilets, it is better to ask the staff of the national park or a forester.

For example, before entering Denali National Park & Preserve for climbing McKinley Summit all registered alpinists get special containers for collecting their poop.

  1. Try to find official toilet areas

In many developed countries, there are public toilets on the way, which you can use for free. Normally, they are located often enough. So, it is better to endure a little bit until the next one.

Trekking tip: sometimes there are sockets inside the toilets so that you have an opportunity to recharge your mobile devices if needed.

  1. Take special bags for carrying your poop as well as a shovel and toilet paper

Even though you are expecting public toilets along the trail, it is still better to be prepared for everything. Take special bags and a container. A specific shovel helps to take a poop and put it inside the container to carry the excrement until the next toilet.

You can find them in equipment stores or sometimes pharmacies. They are lightweight and convenient in use.

Don’t throw your poop together with regular garbage if possible. Look for special places or in the toilet.

  1. Avoid any contamination of water resources

Sometimes you need to do it urgently but have neither container nor bag. Then try to hide in a secluded place where nobody can see you. Just remember one fundamental rule – never pee or poop into natural water resources. River flow throughout mountains and the other hikers or animals may drink from there.

How to Find Places to Pee and Poop When Hiking?

In some countries, it is allowed to put up tents wherever you want. If it is not a national park, you can organize your private toilet. It can be any separate place where everybody can go to pee and poop so that all the contamination will be located in one place, not all around. Here we prepare the most common ideas where to organize your forest toilet.

In the Camping

  1. Inside the camping

If you are staying in the camping, there must be standard toilets. As toilets belong to basic facilities, they include the price per night. In most cases, these are bio-toilets with big holes for excrements. Sometimes they smell unpleasant, so do not put up your tent near such toilets.

It is pretty common among mountain climbers to use bucket showers together with bio toilet in forest campsites.

  1. Behind a large tree

If there is no public toilet all around, you can organize it behind a big and tall tree. It has to be at least 30 meters away from your tents. So, nobody will be shy or smell the toilet.

Just agree with everybody that this will be your standard toilet, so no one of your hiking group will be surprised while suddenly walking that way for picking mushrooms or flowers.

Hiking Tip: make small holes for your pee and a little bit bigger for poop. Cats can teach you how to dig the holes properly!

  1. Behind the stones

If your camping is nearby stones, it is convenient to organize toilet there. Stones do not move often, and it is possible to hide your poop deep enough so that nobody will ever find the “hidden treasure.”

Still, it is the best to decide the same direction of the toilet for the whole group. You can even put an unusual item on the stone not to confuse it with the thousand of the other rocks around your campsite.

Some experienced hikers explained the method of flat stones

Poop on a flat stone you can find nearby the route. Then throw far away from the stone so that nobody can see and smell it.

  1. On the glacier

When you are staying on a glacier in most cases, there are neither trees, not stones around. If it is possible to find a place where nobody can see you, that is the success. This area can become your toilet. Still, the organized toilet should not be located farther than 50 meters from the camping because it is pretty dangerous to walk on the glacier.

If you can not find any hidden place for toilet around the camping, then try to organize it using your own mat. If you put your mat in front of you, it can cover your body except for the head.

It is better to use avalanche shovel for hiding your pee and poop under the snow. However, it is highly recommended not to leave poop on the snow because it does not decompose at low temperatures.

On the Way

  1. In the forest

When walking through the forest, there are many places to hide from everyone’s attention. You can even “be lost” for a minute and catch your group.

When you want to pee or poop in the forest, you can follow the same rules as for when you are in camping. There are two variants how to go to do it in the forest. Either you can dig a hole and collect your excrements there, or the best would be to put them in a separate container.

  1. On the climbing route

The toilet is probably the most challenging part of climbing. When you are wearing your climbing harness, it is impossible to take it off hanging on the wall. The safety system does not allow you to do it.

It most climbing teams alpinists understand one another and do not care if someone needs to do that right in front of the other team. But never do in on popular climbing routes. Mountain climbers tend to use packages and containers for collecting poop there.

However, you should know about portable toilets, which were invented specially for mountain lovers who sleep in vertical walls.

The toilet kit blocks deodorize and destroy wastes using technology developed by NASA technologies. After use, the package can be disposed of as ordinary household waste. A small tip: when using a portable toilet, add a little bit of filler for cats’ toilet to prevent bad smell.

As you can notice, it is highly essential to know the art of pee and poop on the mountain even though it is not acceptable to discuss this topic in your society. Step-by-step ignorance, indifference, and irresponsibility lead to global contamination of the Earth. In order to avoid the natural disaster, we have to follow the ecological way of life and simple rules of going to the toilet in the mountains. Remember: releasing your favorite routes from excrements can become your first step to the clean environment and sustainable development.

Think globally – act locally!

 

30 Must-Have Things For Comfortable Hiking Packing List

hiking gear drawing line art

hiking packing listMany experienced hikers tend to pack their backpacks from memory, but it may not work in some cases. Even if you are a seasoned adventurer, it may not be easy for you to remember everything that you may need while you are hundreds of miles away from your house.

You need to make sure you have a Hiking Packing List

all the important things are in your backpack before you leave your house. This will save you a lot of hassle while you are out there. Make sure you have an elaborate packing list for your next hiking trip.

Packing Stuff

Packing for hiking and business trips has a prominent feature or requirement: you need to carry the backpack with you throughout the journey. When preparing for the trip, keep in mind the three most important things:

  • Lightweight – remember: you are going to carry everything on your shoulders. So, each item should be as lightweight as possible.
  • Compactness – it’s more convenient to walk around with a small backpack than a large one.
  • Replaceability – the more universal your equipment, the fewer things you have to take with you.
  • Listed below are 30 not-to-forget pieces of hiking gear for a comfortable experience.

1. Hiking Backpack

It’s not convenient to hike with a wheeled travel bag or a slew of plastic bags, is it? You need a quality backpack designed to suit your travel style.

When it comes to size, for summer hiking, you may go for a 35 to 45 liter backpack. However, the colder the weather, the more massive the rucksack you need. So, it’s better to get one 50-60 liter backpack for your first hike. Usually, first-time hikers prefer big enough bags because they are easier to pack.

2. Sleeping Bag

Luckily, there are a lot of lightweight and compact sleeping bags available in the equipment stores nowadays. You just have to decide on one based on the temperature range in area you are heading for. Don’t overestimate the daytime heat as it can be 10-15 degrees lower at night.

Bear in mind that summer and winter hiking packing list require different sleeping bags. Most hiking enthusiasts keep at least two for each season.

3. Sleeping Pad

Having a quality sleeping pad is important. If the mat fits your dimensions and is soft enough, a pleasurable sleep will lead to an enjoyable journey.

You can go for foam and inflated pads but they differ by price and features. Although inflated sleeping pads are convenient, very compact and protect you from the cold, be careful with them. Since it’s easy to pierce inflated mats with sharp rocks, you have to choose your sleeping place meticulously. Generally, inflated sleeping pads are just perfect for snowy and grassy surfaces.

4. Tent

Your tent is your shelter for the duration of the hiking trip, which means that the tent has to be secure and waterproof.

Of course, you can share the tent with your hiking mates. While a 2-person tent is excellent for a romantic couple, larger tents are great if you need to accommodate a group of hikers.

hiking checklist infographic

5. Hiking Shoes

Never compromise on the quality of your hiking shoes. Uncomfortable shoes may cause calluses on your feet ruining your trip.

You should be serious when choosing a pair of trekking boots. Ideally, they must be high, dense, with a rubberized nose and strong ankle fixation. A pair of sneakers is a good choice for a weekend hike.

6. Sandals or Flip Flops

It’s better to have a pair of open-toe shoes when hiking. They can refresh your feet after a long, tiring walk. Also, you can put them on when taking a forest shower.

Sandals are preferred over flip-flops during the warm season because you can wear them when the path is not too steep. However, flip-flops are lighter and take less space in your backpack.

7. Comfortable Socks

Don’t underestimate the importance of socks. It’s recommended to buy trekking shoes that are durable and protect your feet from unwanted calluses.

Together with regular socks, take a pair of woolens to warm up your feet in the evening.

8. Underclothes

Comfortable underclothes ensure an easy hike. Ideally, a sign of good undergarments is that you won’t feel them on you. Don’t hesitate to include a set of thermal underwear so you can sleep well at night.

9. T-shirts

Your best bet is to pack at least 2-3 t-shirts for the entire trip. Synthetic t-shirts are suitable for hiking, while cotton t-shirts are the most comfortable for sleeping at night.

10. Warm Clothes

There can be a significant difference in temperature during the day and at night. The temperature difference is so significant that if you get sunburn in the afternoon, you might catch a cold at night unless you put on warm clothes.

Check the weather forecast beforehand. You will probably need a warm hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves in addition to your coat and pants.

11. Trekking Pants

Trekking pants shouldn’t squeeze your body when you are moving around. Besides, the pants should be made of a durable material, such as nylon or spandex. Quality, comfy pants will serve you for many years to come. Add it to your hiking packing list.

12. Membrane Jacket

A jacket is a must-have item in every hiking backpack. Even if it is not cold in the valley, mountain ridges are usually quite windy. A windproof coat can save you from many undesirable consequences.

If your jacket is both windproof and waterproof, it can be a great lifesaver. Also, the coat has to allow air to pass and be lightweight. It is best to use a membrane jacket when hiking.

13. Headwear

Caps and bandanas protect hikers from the sunburn, wind and light rain. However, caps with visors are best for hiking since they protect your face as well as head.

14. Rain Cover

Rains are pretty common in the mountains, so having a rain cover in your backpack is a good idea. Ideally, you should take two rain covers: one for you and the other for your backpack.

15. Headlamp

A headlamp is extremely valuable in the evening. There is no way to look for the trail if you are lost or when you need to look for something inside your tent if you don’t have access to a reliable flashlight. Don’t rely on the lamp of your mobile device – it can’t light much distance and consumes a lot of battery power. Instead, It’s much better to carry more batteries for your headlamp.

Hiking Packing List gear drawing line art16. Sunscreen & Sunglasses

When hiking, be aware of the sun. It’s way more dangerous in the mountains, so you will need to protect your body and eyes from the excessive ultraviolet rays of the sun.

To be on the safe side, apply a bit of sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor on your nose and other open areas of your body.

17. First-aid Kit

A first-aid kit is one of the most important items for outdoor activities. Based on the complexity of your hike, anything can happen to you and your companions.

If you need help, you can ask an experienced hiker to help you prepare a first-aid kit for your trip. However, having a first-aid kit is enough. You should learn to use each item in the kit.

18. Backpacking Stove

Fireplaces are not allowed on most hiking routes, so don’t forget to mention a compact stove on your list. There are two main types of backpacking stoves – one is powered by gas and the other by petrol.

On the one hand, gas stoves are more convenient and don’t require additional cleaning. On the other hand, gas is more expensive and not allowed on airplanes.

19. Plates, Cups, Cutlery

Obviously, if you are going to carry a backpacking stove, you need other items as well, such as plates, cups, and cutlery, to name a few. Plastic and metal are equally good materials for carrying around and eating in.

Get to know the most delicious recipes suitable for hikers and enjoy every meal like at home!

20. Document

Needless to say, you should keep your documents with you at all times, especially your ID card and passport. If something bad happens, the documents will help identify you so you can get help you need as soon as possible.

When you are getting ready for hiking abroad, don’t forget to double-check the list of essential documents and visa requirements.

21. Money

Evidently, you can’t buy anything in the wilderness, so you are independent as long as you are away from shops and stores. However, on the way to the trail, inside campsites and after the hiking trip, you may need some cash. So, aside from a credit card, it’s a good idea to keep some extra cash for an emergency.

22. Phone

Although hiking is considered an outdoor escape, you may need to make or receive important phone calls. Your friends and relatives probably may want to give you a call from time to time to make sure you are all right. Switch on your phone at least once every few days to let the world know that everything is okay.

23. Camera

We bet you will be amazed by the fairy landscape along your hiking trail. That’s the reason you are going outdoors, isn’t it? You can take tons of breath-taking shots, and one of them may make an ideal profile picture for your social media accounts.

It’s recommended to use an action camera, such as GoPro or Xiaomi. The quality of shots and videos with action cameras is good enough unless you are a professional photographer.

mountain dusk24. A Great Book

Great books can be your best friends when hiking. They can help you take short cuts and save time. Furthermore, story books will keep your mind occupied when you are traveling at night and find it hard to fall asleep. With an exciting and adventurous book, your hiking trip will become twice as spectacular.

Hiking tip: save books or novels in the form of PDFs on your mobile if your phone battery can last long enough to help you read those books. It will save weight and space in your backpack.

25. Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are highly desirable while hiking. They will support your body when climbing stones or descending a slippery grass trail after the rain.

Before the trekking poles became widely available in equipment stores, tourists used to walk with natural trekking sticks. Any convenient stick or a branch of a tree you can find in the forest can become your support, but professional trekking poles will make your hiking experience much more comfortable.

26. Sunglasses

When it comes to sunglasses, know that they are really important when you are walking on a glacier. Also, sunglasses are useful on a sunny day. Take only those sunglasses that don’t miss ultraviolet rays. In fact, wearing cheap glasses is of no use as they don’t protect your eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

27. Waterproof Bags

Any raincover could miss some droplets in a heavy rain. In this case, a waterproof bag can be handy. Keep your sleeping bag in an impervious area of the backpack and take another one for your clothes.

Also, plastic bags are always helpful when hiking. They cost almost nothing and can protect your stuff from getting wet. Take a couple of spare bags in case one of them is broken.

28. Personal Hygiene

Wherever you go out there, it’s vital to observe proper personal hygiene. You can’t go without soap, toothpaste, shampoo, wet wipes and toilet paper. But take only the amount necessary for the trip; otherwise, you are going to be carrying excessive weight.

Hiking tip: if you are going for a hike with friends, you can share some of your personal hygiene products with the whole hiking team.

29. Bottles of Water

It’s necessary to drink at least 3 liters of water daily when hiking. Usually, water is not available all the time on hiking trails, so a 1-1.5 liter bottle of water will be enough to keep you hydrated while you are there in the heat of summer. Whenever you feel thirsty, stop for a while and drink from the bottle.

By the way, you can always refill your bottle from any small nearby spring while you are walking in the forest.

30. Lightweight Games

Fun games can unite a team like no other. When hiking with a bunch of friends, don’t forget to think of some exciting activities or even take games with you. How to choose these games? You can take any game with you as long as it is lightweight, waterproof and fun.

Keep in mind that this packing list can work for easy to medium level hiking tours. If you want to on one a hiking trip that involves climbing up snowy peaks, you will obviously need some serious equipment. Thus, never hesitate to discuss your packing stuff with experienced climbers and upgrade the equipment for your particular trip.

Brace yourself. Pack your stuff. Go hiking!